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“In this town, we’ve seen healthcare become a political lightning rod,” U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) told attendees on March 5 at the ACCC 46th Annual Meeting & Cancer Center Business Summit (AMCCBS) in Washington, D.C.
As our nation grapples with unprecedented challenges—both individually and collectively—posed by the world-wide novel COVID-19 outbreak, it seems as though lightning has indeed struck and clearly illuminated areas where change is critically needed.
To move forward with healthcare reform, Senator Stabenow told conference attendees, “We need to start not from a political or ideological position, but from a position of what works and how to make things better.”
She urged oncology professionals to stay engaged in policy development. “When you speak up, people listen. You can and must remain engaged and help us move forward in a positive way. I know this can be done.”
In the midst of this turbulent landscape, with the presidential campaigns gathering momentum, conference attendees heard perspectives from policy experts Kavita Patel, MD, MS, a Non-Resident Fellow in Economic Studies at the USC-Brookings Schaeffer Initiative for Health Policy and Vice President of Johns Hopkins Medicine; and Paul Edattel, Principal of Todd Strategy, LLC. Moderating the conversation was Dennis A. Cardoza, Director of Public Affairs at Foley & Lardner LLP.
Before the prognosticating began, Cardoza asked attendees to weigh in on the state of healthcare in the U.S. in 2020. In live polling, here’s what they had to say (see image below):
With three-quarters of respondents perceiving our healthcare system to be resting on shaky ground, Dr. Patel and Paul Edattel shared their views on how the November elections will (or will not) impact federal healthcare policy:
As the conversation concluded, Cardoza asked for final thoughts. Edattel reminded attendees, “Pay close attention to CMMI. It has a new leader. We're likely to see some impactful models come in the next few months. CMMI is required to put the final Radiation Oncology Model out there.” Dr. Patel turned to the topic of telehealth. “We still have very little uptake of telecare,” she said. “You could offer it [now]. We don’t offer it very well. Shocking or not, people still want to see the doctor face-to-face.”